2016年5月21日 星期六

但丁750歲了:Dante Turns Seven Hundred and Fifty

Italian poet Durante degli Alighieri was born in Florence on this day (although the exact date is not known it was mid-May/June) in 1265. He is the author of The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Parasdiso.
"When I had journeyed half of our life's way,
I found myself within a shadowed forest,
for I had lost the path that does not stray."
--from "Inferno" by Dante Alighieri
The Divine Comedy, translated by Allen Mandelbaum, begins in a shadowed forest on Good Friday in the year 1300. It proceeds on a journey that, in its intense recreation of the depths and the heights of human experience, has become the key with which Western civilization has sought to unlock the mystery of its own identity. Mandelbaum’s astonishingly Dantean translation, which captures so much of the life of the original, renders whole for us the masterpiece of that genius whom our greatest poets have recognized as a central model for all poets. This Everyman's Library’s edition–containing in one volume all three cantos, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso–includes an introduction by Nobel Prize—winning poet Eugenio Montale, a chronology, notes, and a bibliography. Also included are forty-two drawings selected from Botticelli's marvelous late-fifteenth-century series of illustrations.

The British Library 和 Harper Francis Timmins 跟其他 2 人
Philosopher and poet Dante Alighieri died ‪#‎onthisday‬ in 1321. His epic poem Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy) is seen as one of the greatest works of literature. Portraying the journey of the afterlife through purgatory, heaven and hell, this image shows an historiated initial 'N' of Dante and Virgil in a dark wood, with four half-length figures representing Justice, Power, Peace and Temperance.http://bit.ly/1Nkaxz9
Image from Divina Commedia, Inferno and Purgatorio by Priamo della Quercia between c. 1442 – 1450, Italy, N.

Artist Joseph Anton Koch was born ‪#‎onthisday‬ in 1768. Here's his version of Dante's Inferno http://ow.ly/zx2K6

 George HOLMES 《但丁》彭淮棟譯,台北:聯經, 1984
DANTE   VITA NUOVA :A new Translation by Mark Musa, OUP, 1992

 《但丁精選集》呂同六編選,北京:燕山, 2004
 新生. 1
 神曲. 77
*論俗語 (節) 581
*嚮宴 (節)587
*帝制論 603
 抒情詩   679

 但丁生平及創作年表. 760

 * 北京商務都有全譯本

一位來自伊拉克北部科庫克的詩人法德希 阿尔-阿札威(Fishily Al-Azzawi)一踏入台北地區,便發現了一個令他詫異的現象,為什麼台灣到處都看到「但丁」的名字,台灣人為什麼這樣喜歡詩人但丁。原來有一家叫做「丹堤」的咖啡館,分店已開遍台北各地區,「丹堤」的英文DANTE本即詩人但丁的原文,這位伊拉克詩人對意大利的大詩人非常尊仰,看到到處招牌都有「但丁」,便在開幕致辭中說到台灣真是一個高文化水準的地方,這麽崇拜世界級的大詩人但丁。

Dante Turns Seven Hundred and Fifty
It’s hard to convey the importance of Dante’s place in Italian culture, but there are many possible explanations for the poet's enduring hold on the country.CREDITIMAGE VIA GETTY

On April 24th, Samantha Cristoforetti, Italy’s first female astronaut, took time off from her regular duties in the International Space Station to read from the Divine Comedy. She picked the opening canto of the Paradiso, in which Dante describes his ascent through the circle of fire and his approach toward God:

I was within the heaven that receives

more of His light; and I saw things that he

who from that height descends, forgets or can

not speak.

As Cristoforetti spun around the globe at the rate of seventeen thousand miles an hour, her reading was beamed back to earth and shown in a movie theater in Florence.

Ten days later, the actor Roberto Benigni recited the last canto of Paradiso in the Italian Senate. His selection included the poem’s famous closing lines:

Here force failed my high fantasy; but my

desire and will were moved already like

a wheel revolving uniformly by

the Love that moves the sun and the other stars.

The senators gave the comedian a standing ovation. That same day, Pope Francis made some brief remarks about the poet, officially joining what he called the “chorus of those who believe Dante Alighieri is an artist of the highest universal value.” He can, the Holy Father added, help us “get through the many dark woods we come across in our world.”

Dante’s seven-hundred-and-fiftieth birthday is sometime in the coming month—he was born, he tells us in Paradiso, under the sign of Gemini—and, to mark the occasion, well over a hundred events are planned. These include everything from the minting of a new two-euro coin, embossed with the poet’s profile, to a selfie-con-Dante campaign. (Cardboard cutouts of the poet are being set up in Florence, and visitors are encouraged to post pictures of themselves with them using the hashtag #dante750.) There’s talk of extending the celebrations to 2021, the seven-hundredth anniversary of the poet’s death.

I teach Dante to American undergraduates, and I struggle to convey to them his place in Italian culture. The obvious comparison is to Shakespeare, but this is like trying to make sense of Mozart by means of Coltrane: the number of centuries that divide Dante from Shakespeare is practically as large as the number that separates Shakespeare from us.

Italian kids first encounter Dante at school, when they’re in the equivalent of seventh grade. They return to him in the eleventh grade to study the Inferno in more depth. In twelfth grade, they work on the Purgatorio. Secondary school—liceo—lasts five years, and so in what might be considered the thirteenth grade, the text for the year is the Paradiso. I recently asked the high-school-aged son of an Italian friend of mine about the experience. “It’s annoying, boring, and it never ends,” he told me. “But then you get to like it.”

At the college level, the study of Dante ratchets up by slowing down. In the late nineteen-eighties, I spent a semester in Florence, where I sat in on a Dante course at the university. The entire term was devoted to the analysis of a single canto. As it happened, the canto was Inferno 19, which is devoted to simony. Dante reserves a special hole in the third sub-circle of the eighth circle of Hell for corrupt Popes; they are stuffed into it, one after another, headfirst. Their feet are then lit on fire. Among the issues the class discussed at length was how, exactly, new Popes could be accommodated. Had space been left open for all those that would come along? Or did each new arrival compress his predecessor into some kind of pontifical pesto?

Either because of or despite this pedagogical program, Italians, to a surprising degree, stick with Dante. Since 2006, Benigni has been staging hepped-up variations on the traditional lectura dantis, a form that goes back all the way to the fourteenth century, to Boccaccio, who lectured on the poem in Florence’s Santo Stefano church. A typical lectura opens with a detailed gloss of a particular canto, followed by a dramatic reading of it. Benigni’s performances in Rome, Florence, Verona, and other cities have been watched live by more than a million people. Millions more have tuned into them on TV.

Similar, if stodgier, lectures are delivered all over Italy at societies set up expressly to foster appreciation of the Divine Comedy. In Rome, for example, the Casa di Dante sponsors a lectura dantis every Sunday at 11 A.M. Owing to holidays and long summer breaks, six years of Sundays are required to get through the poem, at which point the whole process starts over again. It’s not unusual for two hundred Romans to attend. Some are liceo students, perhaps there under duress, but most are middle-aged and beyond. After one recent session at the Casa di Dante, I asked the white-haired gentleman sitting next to me what everyone was doing there. “I don’t know about the others,” he said. “I always come.”

There are, of course, many possible explanations for Dante’s hold on Italy, including, after seven hundred and fifty years, sheer momentum. Language, too, clearly plays a part. When Dante began work on the Comedy, none of the different dialects spoken in Italy’s many city-states had any particular claim to preëminence. Latin, meanwhile, was the language of the Church and of institutions such as the courts and universities. (Dante wrote “De Vulgari Eloquentia,” his defense of the vernacular, in Latin.) Such was the force and influence of the Comedy that the Tuscan dialect became Italy’s literary language and, eventually, its national one. The fact that people in Venice and Palermo could understand Cristoforetti as she read from the Paradiso in space was due, in a quite literal sense, to the poem that she was reading.

For the last nine months, I’ve been living in Rome, and the experience has helped me to appreciate another, more subversive side to Dante’s appeal. Though he may be force-fed to seventh graders, applauded in the Senate, and praised by the Holy See, Dante is, as a writer, unmistakably anti-authoritarian. He looks around and what he sees is hypocrisy, incompetence, and corruption. And so he strikes out, not just at the Popes, whom he turns upside down and stuffs in a hole, but also at Florence’s political leaders, whom he throws into a burning tomb, and his own teacher, whom he sets running naked across scorching sand.

In 2015, this sort of frustration still feels fresh. Earlier this month the latest World Expo opened in Milan, on the edifying theme of “feeding the planet.” All spring, the papers have been filled with stories of bid-rigging and extortion. Just the other day, the Expo’s procurement manager and six other officials were arrested for graft. “No one should be surprised,” Milan’s Corriere della Sera editorialized. To express their anger over the billions in public funds lavished on Expo, students went on strike and cars were burned in the streets of Milan. It’s hard to know what Dante would have made of flaming Fiats, but it seems likely that he would have sympathized with the protesters: for the abuse of public trust, he prescribed swimming in boiling pitch, and for avarice, an eternity spent rolling stones in circles.